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Toyota Echo



  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    Good luck with your ECHO. You are discovering what many people before you already know!
  • About 6 weeks ago or so I had written about my sister's Echo situation whereby she wouldn't start after work one day. The check engine light had come on, she took her down to Toyota, the computer indicated a problem with the idle control valve. Well, the part was ordered from Japan and installed a couple of weeks ago. I am happy to report that Echo is doing fine and they're both out and about as usual. I think a prior accident she was involved in was the cause of the valve malfunction because they also had to replace her fuel line and other minor adjustments. FYI her Echo showed no damage from the hit (front hit), whereas the Corolla involved showed major bumper damage (rear hit). My sister said the elderly lady driving the Corolla was amazed that the Echo came out unscathed. However, although there wasn't physical damage to the outside, she did suffer internal injuries on the inside IMO. And for those of you who have actually suffered injuries from an accident, you know that symptoms don't always show up right away. I believe the same thing happened with her Echo because the accident occurred about 6 mos ago. The good thing is Toyota was able to fix her problem (she's better than new now!) and we're proud Echo owners. :)
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    Glad to hear all ended well all around. Bad things happen even to good cars.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    The NY Times (besides trying to boost Kerry all it can) is reporting that sales and profits for Honda Corp are DOWN this year. Interesting.
  • I'm the original owner of a 2000 with 80k miles and now have an oil leak. I have regularly done all the service and maintenance recommended so, I don't know if I'm the only one on the planet with this problem. The dealer says it will cost $1200 to fix..needless to say I'm not happy about this situation. I also have the differential in the transmission replaced.....thank goodness it was still under warranty by just six miles! I've also and the engine light come on and had to get a sensor replaced. Is there any other echo owners out there who is experiencing a rear engine oil leak? help! 80k miles doesn't seem like too many miles for an echo. I still love the car!
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    How did you come to know you have an oil leak? How did you come to understnad that your transmission needed a new differential? If the differential was covered by warranty, why wasnt the oil leak, seeing as they are both drivetrain components? Was the oil leak repaired at the time the differential was replaced, which would be a good time to do it? None of this makes sense to me. Until I hear more Im assuming the dealer is having you on here.
      But to answer your question NO Ive never had an oil leak. How much oil is is leaking? You can buy a lot of oil for $1200. Also, using STP would cut down on the oil useage considerably.
  • Hello everyone,
         I'm very much interested in Echos. I love that the fuel efficiency is outstanding, and the looks I think are fine. I think the car would actually look great with bigger wheels.

    But, I want to ask for some advice. I have an opportunity to buy a used 2001 Echo, with most of the options I'm looking for, and in the color I want. Here is the kicker. I live in Europe (in the US military), and the car is in the states. I have been told by someone a little wiser than me when it comes to cars, that one should test drive or have the car looked at by a mechanic before buying. Well, this car is a 2001, and it has the remainder of the 6 yr powertrain warranty still good. So, my friends, SHOULD I GO FOR THIS CAR?

    Any advice would be helpful. Thanks.

  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    My 2001 has been very reliable with no problems at all. But Im wondering when youll get a chance to drive it.
  • My plan is to have it shipped to Germany. Shipping cost will probably be between $1000-1500. New developements: This is a certified used Toyota, which means that it goes through a 160pt check (theoretically). The salesman doesn't seem to be budging on his bottom price of $8400. So I'll have to add on at least 1500 to that for shipping, which would make it close to $10K. Do you think this is worth it?

    Also, I'm eyeing a local used car a Toyota Corolla 2003, That has 42000 miles on it, no warranty (but one could actually be bought year by year here, I'm told). The price for this one is $11,500. It has alot more "bells and whistles", power windows, ABS, remote entry, etc.. and only really a couple miles worst as far as fuel economy.

    Which one should I go for?

  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    I dont see how it could make sense enconomically. Besides, arent there hatchback ECHOs already in Germany? That would be the test comparing the cost of what you could buy there compared to what you can buy here and ship there.
  • I've got a 2003 ECHO with 23,000 miles on it, with no problems so far.

    I drive it pretty hard, and get it up to 105 mph for 5 to 10 minutes at a time at least 3 times a week.

    ya I know I'm crazy... but anyway, I'm happy with my Toyota.

    I could have purchased a Kia or a Hyundai for less, but I questioned the Kia & Hyundai quality - (Yes I know that some hardcore fans of Hyundai are going to drag out that J.D Powers IQS) That survey wasn't out when I purchased my ECHO and I don't think it would have altered my purchasing decision. To me, one good year for Hyundai with one or two models on the IQS doesn't stack up to Toyota's history of years atop various quality ratings - including J.D.Powers & Associates Initial Quality Survey.

    I also had a very bad experience with Hyundai - it was 10 years ago with the Hyundai Excell, so I don't expect people to believe that it is relevant to what Hyundai and it's dealerships are doing now with their latest cars - but there was no way I was giving Hyundai a second chance.

    I want to stay out of the shop. I don't care about a 10 year / 100,000 mile warranty necesarily, I just want my car to stay out of the shop. My biggest fear was that I would have to hassle with the Kia dealership to actually get my car fixed - or that I would be without it for days on end while I haggled with them to fix it under warranty. Plus I wasn't so sure that they would even still be in business in the US in 10 years.

    Anyway, I still have a ways to go with my Toyota - so far I don't regret my decision. I'm hoping that Toyota's reputation for quality holds true for my ECHO.
  • It would be a very easy solution to buy a German car in Germany wouldn't it? Here is the catch: If one wants to go back to the states in the foreseeable future with the car, the car must be US specs, not German specs. I'm told it takes thousands of $ to change from one to the other. This is why it is a challenge if one is American and wants to buy a US spec car. You can buy brand new (mostly VW, BMW, VOLVO, and MB), or check out a very limited used car market. This is the main reason I'm considering shipping a car from the US to Europe.

    On a tangent, I've got my eye on a 2003 Matrix with 14K miles on it, and the owner is asking $14000. It's got leather, power everything, subwoofer in the back, and well maintained. I'm told the owner can go down to $13500. Good deal or no?

  • wrgrahamwrgraham Posts: 112
    regarding reliability, I am also surprised by the problem with the oil leak and the differential replacement. I am now up to 118K miles on my 2000 Echo 5 speed. No problems.
    As far as the shipping to Europe, and test driving ahead of time, and Matrix and Corolla and such: I wonder if you have some good friends in the USA. And I wonder where you are seeing the particular used car opportunities. If it were me I would ask one of my (few) tech-savvy friends to check out used car opportunities for me. If the price and model were right, and the condition was verified by my friend, then OK. But I wouldnt go along with anything else. You also talk about the options on a Corolla compared to an Echo. Do you want lots of options? If you do, then I guess they are worth something to you, quantify it.
  • sluglineslugline Posts: 391

    NHTSA Campaign 04V455000, Sept. 14, 2004

    My girlfriend received this recall notification over the weekend. It looks like a 2000-specific recall that affects Celicas too. Just thought I'd post this as a heads-up to other owners.
  • wrgrahamwrgraham Posts: 112
    My 2000 Echo finally has a problem that needs repair. The alternator is making some noise, though still functionning fine. Apparently there are both 70 and 90 amp alternators available, and mine is a 70 but I am getting a 90 replacement. With shipping it is gonna cost about $300, so not cheap. But it is my first problem of any magnitude.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    How much more is the 90 amp over the 70? I would get the 70 if its much cheaper. $300 for an alternator is a lot of money! I wonder what good a 90 amp alternator is over a 70 amp? BTW did you remove the belt and wiggle the ac and waterpump pulleys too? Just to make sure the noise isnt from one of them.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    Post 4500! BING!
  • wrgrahamwrgraham Posts: 112
    The 70 amp is something like $240 and the 90 is forty dollars more. My mechanic recommended I get the 90 if we use the A/C a lot. My wife and daughter both do. He had a listening device that he applied to both the water pump and the alternator, and the sound was clearly the alternator.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    Hmmm I would like to know which cars have the 90 amp alternator and what options make it necessary. Im totally against things like bigger tires and wider wheels, or just making things bigger because it seems like a good idea. I drove a 1982 MB 300d Turbo the other day and Im thinking "This thing feels like Im driving a cement mixer, yet its the same body and chassis as my old 240D." Turned out the guy had wider wheels and tires on it. I recommended my friend not buy it.

      BUT the mechanic may have a very good reason for recommending the bigger alternator. Its a good sign that he checked your water pump!
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    I just read a survey of echo owners in PM. Out of a thousand owners, 62% were female 25% male with the rest being owned jointly.
  • Interesting stat that more Echo owners are female than male. I do not want to jump to the wrong conclusion (for example, that the Echo is a Chick car). The stat says "owners" and not "drivers" but I assume if the owner is female then the car is driven mostly by that female. Did the article break it down according to age? Did they said what percent is first time buyers? Did the article say which make/model is driven mostly by women? By men?
  • Hello, I'm currently experiencing a similar problem that you encountered with your Echo. My 2001 Echo requires a new alternator, I had noticed the increased engine noise and had a couple of "experienced mechanic ears" take a listen to it and they advised I would need to eventually replace the alternator. The indication at the time was that it was not a urgent issue, but one that would have to be looked at soon. My problem was that I was going back to the States (I'm currently stationed in the UK) for the Holidays and thought I could address this issue when I returned from my trip. Needless to say, I recently received the "check battery" indication on my instrument panel. I'm hesitant to drive the vehicle to avoid possibly getting stuck on the side of the road and calling a tow truck to return me home (the exchange rate is crazy at the moment, 2 dollars for 1 British Pound). I would like to find out if you purchased your alternator online, and if so, where were you able to locate the alternator part number? I've looked through my owner's manual and I can't seem to find it. Any and all help would be appreciated. Thanks in advance, Carlos.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    I did a google search for "toyota ECHO" and just was reading all the reviews for it when I came across what I believe was the Popular Mechanics or Popular Science article. Yes they have all the demographics and about two feet worth of screen statistics. I remember most buyers were about 40 something and the car TOTALLY missed its intended market.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    Its Click on car reviews and find the one for ECHO.
  • wrgrahamwrgraham Posts: 112
    Solrac2k, I don't think I have anything of substance that will help. My mechanic looked very closely with mirror and all to get the numbers as best he could off of my alternator. Then he phoned a foreign cars supply source and they found the replacement alternatives on the US west coast. So an alternator was flown in and installed in just a few days. But then I am told that the noise is still there, and out went the new alternator and a water pump has been ordered and will be installed next week. The noise has been progressing slowly, but still we use the car some and it is not an alarming sound yet. By the way, no expense for me due to the wrong diagnosis, these people are good ones. Sorry i did not get back to you sooner, these are busy days for many of us.
  • On this special day I just wanted to Echo all over the world the appreciation for all our blessings.
  • Any more news about the ECHO hatchback coming to the U.S. in 06?
  • Hi Mike,


    I have a 2003 Echo with 22,000 miles. It also has the same problem as you described in this forum. Have you fixed the problem? Please let me know.




  • I bought my 2003 Echo on September 4, 2004. It had been a leased car and had 8800 miles on it when I purchased it for $13,800, specifially for my courier route. I paid the Toyota dealer $600 to add cruise control, installed about 2 weeks after I purchased the car. This dropped the gas mileage from 39 mpg to about 35 mpg (worth the loss in my opinion). I am a courier with a 5-day per week bank run. I drive a total of 240+ miles each day, mostly interstate driving. It's an automatic with AC. My Echo now has 122,000 miles on it and I have had no problems. I have only changed the oil (every 3000 miles), rotated the tires at 5-6k miles, the air filter, and flushed the trans at 100,000 miles. The first set of tires lasted to 65k miles.


    Much of my daily route being interstate, I do a lot of 80-90 mph driving for consistently long intervals. I am amazed at the handling, ride, and agility of this car, especially in Atlanta traffic. How many cars will effectively kick in to passing gear at 90mph?


    My only complaint is that the standard AM/FM radio does not sport a digital clock, and there are only two wiper speeds, slow and a little faster. Intemittent speeds would be nice.


    The car being under 2000 lbs has amazing pickup speed. Hopefully, my Echo will last to at least 500,000 miles, which is about when I will have it paid off. If I continue in the courier business, I will likely buy another Echo.
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